Before going out to test drive cars, do your homework. Visit www.kbb.com, www.edmunds.com and other car appraisal sites to learn what the “book” value of your preferred car is. Make sure to understand the importance of such key evaluation factors as mileage, options and vehicle condition. Gulliver encourages sellers to price a car around the level of Kelly Blue Book Private Party, but there are many factors to consider when pricing a given vehicle.
When you locate a car you like, get the history (Autocheck or Carfax reports) and ask lots of questions. Does the car have any prior damage or accident history? The dealer should know this and must disclose any such information. Ask if there is any repaint. (In some cases repaint affects the value of the car.) Gulliver does not sell cars with “branded” titles, but some dealers do. Gulliver recommends that you never buy a car with a “salvage”, “lemon” or “junk” title.
If you plan to get a loan for your car, learn as much as you can about the auto loan process. If you intend to ask Gulliver to help you set up the loan, and your credit is shaky, be sure to bring in paycheck stubs, proof of employment, even utility bills showing the length of your residence. A cosigner can help you get a loan if your credit score is otherwise too low. For people with very low credit scores, a large down payment might be required - as much as 40% of the actual price.
If you are buying a used car, think about the cost of upkeep. If the vehicle is still under manufacturer warranty, you will be covered for certain repairs. If the vehicle has no manufacturer warranty, it is highly advisable to buy an extended warranty. Use the internet to search your vehicle for problems specific to its year and mileage; talk to a mechanic who knows about your specific model, and get the car inspected.